A Texas A&M University at Galveston professor gave one of his classes the ultimate “f**k you guys,” telling his students they all failed his course with an epically angry email. Talk about ending the school year with a bang.
Apparently, Irwin Horwitz had the class from hell, and his rage was twofold: The students did not meet the academic standards of the university with their performance in the course, and Horwitz even felt threatened to the point where he thought police protection was needed.
Here’s a “trimmed” version of the fiery message:
I have never in my capacity as an academic ever encountered a class as completely disgraceful and disrespectful as this. Not even close.
Briefly, but not a complete set of examples, since teaching this course, I have seen cheating, been told by students to ‘chill out,’ ‘get out of my space,’ ‘go back and teach,’ refuse to leave the room after being told to do so following inappropriate conduct, called a ‘f—— moron’ several times by a student to my face, had gone through numerous student hearings, had to change exams because students were using the testing center to take photos of make-up exams and share with their friends, have had students subsequently cheat by signing in for another, students not showing up but claiming they did, listened to many hurtful and untrue rumors about myself, my wife and other colleagues in MARA, been caught between fights between students and student groups, felt the need to have police protection in our class and another following it, had grades given with the most careful of analysis first attempted to be rebuked to Dr. Mileski, and when turned down, to Dr. Louchouarn.
Many of you were very proud to flash those new Aggie rings upon reaching the graduation stage. However, Texas A&M holds students to a very high Honor Code. It is the very backbone and represents the principles that bond Aggies for a lifetime and make your degree so special. Unfortunately, I have seen no such ‘honor’ in my class. Just the opposite. Backstabbing, game playing, cheating, lying, fighting. In my 20 years of teaching I have never seen nor taught a class with less honor than this. This class is an embarrassment in general, and fully out of line with the Honor Code purported by Texas A&M. …
None of you, in my opinion, given the behavior in this class deserve to pass, or graduate to become an ‘Aggie’ as you do not in any way embody the honor that the University holds graduates should have within their personal character. It is thus for these reasons why I am officially walking away from this course. I am frankly and completely disgusted. You all lack the honor and maturity to live up to the standards that Texas A&M holds, and the competence and/or desire to do the quality work necessary to pass the course just on a grade level. …
For the above reasons I will no longer be teaching the course, and all are being awarded a failing grade. … It is beyond my imagination that any single one of you can look back at this class and take pride in your work – it’s all about the instrumentality of receiving your degree not the intrinsic meaning of it as a real measure of esteem and accomplishment; but to that end, I refuse to play a part. This is a complete disgrace to your school, the A&M Honor Code, those honorably holding A&M degrees, to your families who supported you, and ultimately to yourselves.
Cheating and fighting definitely sound like grounds for failing students, but it’s unclear if all of Horwitz’s pupils deserved the big ole F.
According to KPRC, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Patrick Louchouarn said that Horwitz’s email holds little clout. Students will only be failed if they don’t meet the expectations of the class. That probably means things like test scores and the class syllabus are being consulted about what’s a passable grade.
Horwitz won’t be finishing out the class. Instead, the department head will take over teaching responsibilities until the end of the semester. At least Horwitz went out with style. And it sounds oddly familiar…